Twitter confirms changes meaning users can compose longer tweets

Photos, videos and names in reply tweets will no longer count

Twitter, changes, character limit, 140 characters, media, replies, retweets, Jack Dorsey

This file photo shows a Twitter app on an iPhone screen in New York | Image: Richard Drew / AP/Press Association Images

Social media site Twitter has confirmed users will be able to compose longer tweets within the existing 140-character limit.

It says photos, videos and @names in reply tweets will no longer count toward the limit.

It says the this will make conversations "faster and more intuitive for people who come to Twitter everyday and those who are new to the service".

While people will now be able to retweet and quote tweet themselves, and any new tweet beginning with an @name will be seen by all followers.

Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey says: "One of the biggest priorities for this year is to refine our product and make it simpler".

"We're focused on making Twitter a whole lot easier and faster".

"We're not giving up on the idea of Twitter being in the moment. That concept of brevity, speed and live conversation - being able to think of something and put it out to the world instantly - that's what's most important," he added.

It says the updates will be available in "the coming months".

Here is what will change:

  • Replies: When replying to a Tweet, @names will no longer count toward the 140-character count. This will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward
  • Media attachments: When you add attachments like photos, GIFs, videos, polls, or Quote Tweets, that media will no longer count as characters within your Tweet
  • Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: Twitter will be enabling the Retweet button on your own Tweets, so you can easily Retweet or Quote Tweet yourself
  • Goodbye, .@: New Tweets that begin with a username will reach all your followers. (That means you will no longer have to use the ".@" convention, which people currently use to broadcast Tweets broadly.
  • If you want a reply to be seen by all your followers, you will be able to Retweet it to signal that you intend for it to be viewed more broadly.

Launched solely as text, tweets have evolved in the past 10 years to include photos, videos, GIFs, polls and Quote Tweets - all of which have subtracted from the overall 140-character count.

In addition to these changes, Twitter says it will continue to explore ways to make the service simpler and more intuitive.